Remarkable week in Mississippi college baseball - WDAM-TV 7-News, Weather, Sports-Hattiesburg, MS

Remarkable week in Mississippi college baseball

USM baseball/Photo credit: WDAM USM baseball/Photo credit: WDAM
MISSISSIPPI (WDAM) -

We likely have just witnessed one of the most remarkable weeks in the history of Division I collegiate baseball in Mississippi.

Not the most important. Not the most impactful.

But for sheer, what-are-the-odds outcomes, one of the most remarkable.

Consider: Two of the three programs, The University of Southern Mississippi and University of Mississippi, combined to play nine games, and every one of them was a shutout.

Each and every one.

Ole Miss played five times, and went 4-1, losing a 2-0 decision in 11 innings amidst four shutouts of its own. USM played four times and went 3-1, dropping a 2-0 decision, while posting three goose-eggings of its own.

Toss in a 2-0 win among five games played by Mississippi State University, and the state saw 10 baseball games where one of the teams scored zero runs.

That’s remarkable.

UNIVERSITY of SOUTHERN MISSISSIPPI (11-4)

Last week

  • Tuesday, at University of New Orleans, 6-0 (W)
  • Friday, vs. Xavier University, 2-0 (L)
  • Saturday, vs. Xavier University 2-0 (W)
  • Saturday, vs. Xavier University 10-0 (W)

USM pitching posted a 0.50 ERA with 37 strikeouts and 12 walks over 36 innings in four games.

Taylor Braley (1-0) got the week rolling, throwing 7 1/3 shutout innings and driving in three runs in USM’s 6-0 win at the University of New Orleans.

Kirk McCarty (2-2) dropped a hard-luck decision, allowing just two runs over eight innings, while tying a career high with nine strikeouts. The 2-0 loss to Xavier snapped the nation’s longest home winning streak at 13 games.

Hayden Roberts (1-0) followed with career performance, allowing two hits over 8 2/3 innings, while striking out eight and walking two in a 2-0 victory in the first game of a doubleheader. Only two Musketeers reached second base. He retired 13 of 14 batters in the meat of the game, with the only reach coming on an error.

J.C. Keys (1-1) went six, shutout innings in his first career start in the nightcap, allowing three hits with five strikeouts and two walks. USM hits five home runs in support, with Casey Maack smacking the first two home runs of his collegiate career.

After Xavier scored two runs in the first two innings Friday, USM pitching held the Musketeers scoreless for 25 innings.

USM will finish off a five-game homestand with a pair of midweek games with Columbia University at Taylor Park before opening Conference USA play by traveling to Louisiana Tech University in Ruston, Louisiana. 

This week

  • Tuesday, vs. Columbia University, 6 p.m.
  • Wednesday, vs. Columbia University, 6 p.m.
  • Friday, at Louisiana Tech University, 6 p.m.
  • Saturday, at Louisiana Tech University , 2 p.m.
  • Sunday, at Louisiana Tech University, 1 p.m.

UNIVERSITY of MISSISSIPPI (11-5)

Last week

  • Tuesday, vs. Georgia State University, 1-0 (W)
  • Wednesday, vs. Georgia State University, 2-0 (11 innings) (L)
  • Friday, vs. Furman University, 2-0 (W)
  • Saturday, vs. Furman University, 5-0 (W)
  • Sunday, vs. Furman University, 1-0 (W)

The No. 15 Rebels split a pair of midweek games with Georgia State University. The Rebels snapped a four-game losing streak with a 1-0 victory on Tuesday, as three Ole Miss pitchers combined on the shutout and Kyle Watson’s solo home run accounted for the lone score.

The teams played 10 scoreless innings Wednesday before Georgia State broke through with two runs in the 11th inning.

Will Etheridge was strong in the no-decision, allowing just two hits over 7 2/3 innings, striking out 10 with no walks.

The Rebels then posted three shutouts of Furman University, a team that carried a .317 batting average coming into the weekend.

David Parkinson (3-1) went eight innings in the opener, including seven, no-hit innings. He finished by allowing just one hit while striking out nine. Ryan Olenek had three hits, while Tate Blackman drove in the game’s only run with a single.

 Brady Feigl (2-1) followed Saturday by scattering three hits over eight innings, with a career-high 10 strikeouts with one walk. Michael Fitzsimmons’ two-run homer was the big blow.

Greer Holston went seven innings Sunday, allowing just two hits, while striking out six and walking two. Andy Pagnozzi (2-0) struck out the side in the eighth inning and picked up the win when Fitzsimmons’ pinch-hit single drove in the game’s only run.

Ole Miss managed seven hits, but Furman turned five double plays to keep the game close.

The Rebels meet Nicholls State University Tuesday at MGM Park in Biloxi before opening Southeastern Conference play this weekend against No. 24 Vanderbilt University at Swayze Field.

This week

  • Tuesday, vs. Nicholls State University, 6:30 p.m.
  • Friday, vs. No. 24 Vanderbilt University, 7 p.m.
  • Saturday, vs. No. 24 Vanderbilt University, 1:30 p.m.
  • Sunday, vs. No. 24 Vanderbilt University, 3 p.m.

MISSISSIPPI STATE UNIVERSITY (11-6)

Last week

  • Tuesday, vs. Louisiana Tech University, 3-2 (L)
  • Friday vs. University of South Alabama, 2-0 (W)
  • Sunday vs. Columbia University, 5-4 (W)
  • Sunday vs. University of South Alabama, 8-6 (W)

The Bulldogs lost a 2-0 lead on their way to a midweek loss to Louisiana Tech. Sean Ulrich’s double tied the score in the eighth inning, and winning run scored on a dropped third strike and throwing error in the ninth.

MSU starter Jacob Billingsley scattered four hits over five, shutout innings with seven strikeouts. Solo home runs by Brant Blaylock and Cody Brown had given the Bulldogs a 2-0 lead before Tech’s late-inning rally.

The Bulldogs bounced back with a shutout win over the University of South Alabama. Left-hander Konnor Pilkington (2-2) allowed four hits over 7 1/3 scoreless innings, striking out 13 while walking two.

Jake Mangum extended his hitting streak to 27 games with a single and scored a run, while Brent Rooker had two hits, a run scored and a RBI.

After Saturday’s games were postponed by rain, the Bulldogs beat Columbia and USA on Sunday.

MSU lost a 3-1 lead, the Bulldogs rallied and Blaylock’s walk-off single in the ninth inning resulted in a 5-4 win over Columbia. Starter Denver McQuary allowed one run on two hits over five innings, with six strikeouts and five walks. Spencer Price (3-1) picked up the win in relief.

Blaylock had three hits, though Magnum saw his hitting streak come to an end.

The Bulldogs rallied again in the second game, breaking a 4-4 tie with a four-run eighth inning against the Jaguars. Rooker, who had two hits and two runs scored, started the rally with a homer.

Brown scored twice and had an RBI, Mangum added two hits and scored a run and Hunter Stovall drove in two runs with a double and scored twice.

Starting pitcher Peyton Plumlee went 5 1/3 innings, allowing a run on five hits with four strikeouts and a walk. Reliever Graham Ashcraft (2-0) picked up the win, allowing two runs on a hit in two innings, with four strikeouts and a walk.

The rain on Saturday bumped the second game with Columbia to Monday, and the Bulldogs slugged their way to an 11-8 win.

Rooker had his third game of the season with at least five RBIs, driving in six runs. He had a three-run double in a six-run third inning, then hit a go-ahead, two-run homer in the sixth inning.

Ryan Gridley had three hits, including a homer, with three runs scored, while Tanner Poole had two hits, including a homer with two RBIs.

The Bulldogs will host the University of Arkansas-Pine Bluff Tuesday before traveling to the University of Arkansas this weekend to open SEC play.

This week

  • Monday vs. Columbia University, 11-8 (W)
  • Tuesday vs. University of Arkansas-Pine Bluff, 6:30 p.m.
  • Friday at University of Arkansas, 6 p.m.
  • Saturday at University Arkansas, 7 p.m.
  • Saturday at University of Arkansas, 1 p.m.

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